Here's another music bio-pic that is sure to become an Osacar contender. Variety reports Nashville-based 821 Entertainment Group and Strike Entertainment have teamed to turn the life of country music icon Hank Williams into a feature film.
Williams is one the most influential country music singer-songwriters, and his life was as hard as any character in a country song. After growing up dirt poor in Alabama during the Depression, Williams skyrocketed to fame with 11 No. 1 hits, including classics "Cold, Cold Heart," "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."
Williams also suffered from spina bifida, which led him to turnto alcohol and morphine for pain relief. Haunted by demons and bad habits, Williams died in 1953 at age 29.
Strike Entertainment partner Marc Abraham will pen the script, which will reference Colin Escott's book, Hank Williams: The Biography. Universal will get the first crack at the project through its first-look deal with Strike.
821 CeEO, Eric Geadelmann said:
It took us almost five years to execute this deal, and people told us we were crazy to try because the estate was so fractured.
On one side of the estate is singer Hank Williams Jr., and on the other is Jett Williams (the illegitimate daughter of the late singer). The two, who haven't seen eye to eye on much, have gotten together on the biopic.
Abraham, who produced such thrillers as Children of Men and Spy Game, grew up in Kentucky listening to Williams' music. He said of Williams:
He was the first real star who went down as the result of his lifestyle, succeeded by Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain. He destroyed himself, but for six years leading to his death, Hank had six songs each year in the top 10."
Though it's still too early to tell, Abraham believes that original recordings will likely be used in the film. Ultimately depending on who they cast, I would actually prefer if they had original cast recordings, like they did for the Johnny Cash bio Walk The Line. I find it easier to submerse myself into the believability of the actor as the real person.
This wouldn't be the first time Williams' story has been made for the bigscreen. George Hamilton starred as Williams in 1964's Your Cheatin' Heart.
So are you ready for a Hank Williams bio pic? And who would you like to see cast as Williams?